Tip off is set for 4 p.m. PT from Maples Pavilion in California. You can find the game on your television on Pac-12 Network, or on your computer at Pac-12.com or on your favorite handheld device on the Pac-12 Now app.
The Cougs have won two out of three, while the Cardinal have won just two out of four. Within those games each team has beaten the California Golden Bears in that stretch — the Cardinal by four and the Cougs by two. Additionally, WSU is 1-0 in its last one road games.
Although the Cardinal have a much better overall record (15-13 to 11-16) and a much better conference record (9-6 to 3-12) and have already beaten the Cougs in Pullman (by nine points) and are favored by 11.5 points in Vegas and are forecast by kenpom.com to win this game four out of five times, the similarity of recent results indicates this game is obviously a toss-up.
The Cardinal’s best player is Reid Travis, the man with two first names whom I have called Travis Reid on more than one occasion. He did not have a good game against WSU the first time around (6 points, 6 rebounds), so the Cougars clearly know how to shut him down and he will not be a threat to match his season averages of 19 points and 8 rebounds against WSU’s tough defensive front line of Drick Bernstine and/or Robert Franks and/or Davante Cooper.
Franks also was a non-factor in the first game; hopefully he’s been able to overcome whatever toughness deficiency was holding him back, and I’m confident that Ernie Kent has instituted some kind of really unique practice plan that will allow Franks to perform better this time around.
And if the referees have finally figured their shit out? Victory is all but assured.